The Israel Deception

Is the return of Israel in the 20th century truly a work of God, or is it a result of a cosmic chess move to deceive the elect by the adversary?

Showing posts with label pensions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pensions. Show all posts

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Pension bomb climbs to nearly $2 trillion in a decade as Fed and zero interest rates kill Americans chance of retirement

With the Federal Reserve picking winners in their monetary policies since the 2008 financial crisis, the real losers have been the 10's of million of retirees, and the hundreds of millions of Americans who have lost purchasing power thanks to stagnant wages and rising inflation.  And it is directly on the heads of the central bank that the wealth disparity between the 1% and everyone else has taken place.

And because of the massive expansion of credit and debt, and the keeping of interest rates below 1% for over a decade, the nuclear bomb that is America's underfunded retirement scheme is now on the precipice of not only exploding, but also taking down local and state governments with it.

Just how big is the underfunded pension bomb you might ask?  Numbers as of the end of March 2017 now show that the total is just under $2 trillion, and has gone up nearly 10 times since 2007 and just before the financial crash.

Image result for pension bomb
Are millions of Americans about to see the big, juicy pensions that they were counting on to fund their golden years go up in flames in the biggest financial disaster in U.S. history? When Bloomberg published an editorial entitled “Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore“, it simply confirmed what a lot of people already knew to be true.  Pension funds all over America are woefully underfunded, and they have been pouring mind boggling amounts of money into very risky investments such as Internet stocks and commercial mortgages.  Just like with subprime mortgages in 2008, this is a crisis that everyone can see coming well in advance, and yet nothing is being done about it. 
On a day to day basis, Americans generally don’t think very much about pensions.  Most of those that have been promised pensions simply have faith that they will be there when they need them. 
Unfortunately, the truth is that pension plans all over the country are severely underfunded, and this has already resulted in local fiascos such as the one that we just witnessed in Dallas. 
But what happened in Dallas is just the very small tip of a very large iceberg.  According to Bloomberg, unfunded pension obligations on a national basis “have risen to $1.9 trillion from $292 billion since 2007″… 
As was the case with the subprime crisis, the writing appears to be on the wall. And yet calamity has yet to strike. How so? Call it the triumvirate of conspirators - the actuaries, accountants and their accomplices in office. Throw in the law of big numbers, very big numbers, and you get to a disaster in a seemingly permanent state of making. Unfunded pension obligations have risen to $1.9 trillion from $292 billion since 2007. 
And of course that $1.9 trillion number is not actually the real number. 
That same Bloomberg article goes on to admit that if honest math was being used that the real number would actually be closer to 6 trillion dollars… 
So why not just flip the switch and require truth and honesty in public pension math? Too many cities and potentially states would buckle under the weight of more realistic assumed rates of return. By some estimates, unfunded liabilities would triple to upwards of $6 trillion if the prevailing yields on Treasuries were used. That would translate into much steeper funding requirements at a time when budgets are already severely constrained. Pockets of the country would face essential public service budgets being slashed to dangerous levels. -  The Economic Collapse

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Got gold? War on Pensions is officially on as Treasury Department allows unprecedented cuts to benefits

2016 was known as the year for the War on Cash, where India, Venezuela, and even the European Union eliminated currency denominations in the hopes of forcing all their citizens into a cashless system run by the banks.

And despite the fact that here in the U.S. a scheme to ban and eliminate the $100 bill was pushed by two ivory tower economists using the guise of fighting the 'War on Terror', to date all dollar denominated currencies are still considered around the world to be legal tender.

Yet the problem in the U.S., and in many other parts of the world as well, is not money laundering, or citizens using physical cash for illegal means, but instead it is the massive amount of debt that sovereign governments, states, municipalities, and even central banks have that they can no longer afford to service, and which threatens to collapse the entire financial system at both the micro and macro levels.

Attempts to service this debt, and the refusal to allow failed assets and institutions to go bankrupt, has led central banks to destroy the very instruments that savers, retirees, and government pension funds relied upon to pay for promises made to workers in both the public and private sectors.  And as we saw cracks begin last year in the two largest pension funds in the U.S. (Calpers and Central States), 2017 appears here early on to be the year where a War on Pensions will be ratcheted up to maximum levels.

Image: Anatomy of a Failed Liberal State
On Dec. 16, the U.S. Treasury approved the proposal of Cleveland-based Ironworkers #17 Pension Fund to cut the benefits of its 2,000 members by an average of 20%. This is the first time the Treasury has allowed a private pension plan to cut benefits of its members. The Local’s members and retirees will vote on it Jan. 20. If approved, cuts could start Feb. 1. 
Five more pension plans are waiting for the Treasury Department’s decision to reduce pension benefits, Jonnelle Marte reports in the Jan. 5 Washington Post. The cuts proposed would affect tens of thousands of employees and retirees who earned pensions, such as bricklayers, furniture workers and autoworkers. - Larouchepub
The unprecedented move by the U.S. Treasury Department follows the drama Americans saw during the final months of 2016 where first responders from the City of Dallas raided their pension fund when it became known that it was underfunded by a good 40-70%, and where workers and retirees feared there would be no money left to pay out promised benefits.

Yet in addition to the Ironworkers Pension Fund out of Cleveland, OH, several other funds are planning severe cuts to their recipients in the coming weeks, which could begin a chain reaction of cuts around the country for those who paid into their retirements expecting them to be there during their golden years.

Central States Teamsters

Calpers

On top of this, there are already talks in Congress regarding the cutting of pay, jobs, and pension benefits for Federal employees now that the Republicans have seized control over all branches of government.
Federal employees can expect attempts to cut their pay, benefits and rights in the new Congress, as the unified Republican government looks to finally deliver on many failed efforts from previous years. 
The 115th Congress wasted no time pursuing legislation with high impacts on the federal workforce; the first bill approved by the House would require the Veterans Affairs Department to permanently note all reprimands and admonishments on employee records, and a resolution setting the rules for the House this session will allow lawmakers to eliminate federal employees’ jobs and reduce their pay through the appropriations process. 
One likely early target for congressional Republicans, according to multiple sources familiar with their plans, is federal workers’ defined benefit pensions. Lawmakers are expected to address the reform first through the budget reconciliation process, which would allow Congress to institute the cuts without any Democratic support. The budget resolution will likely instruct the House Oversight and Government Reform committee to identify a certain amount of savings, a request committee members can fulfill by proposing significant cuts to federal employees’ retirement benefits. - Govexec
For years states, municipalities, and corporations promised extraordinary benefits that could only work if economic conditions were at their optimum.  But the moment growth and interest rates began to decline, so too did the financial vehicles capable of sustaining large returns to pension funds that needed 5-8% annual increases.  And after eight years of zero interest rates and less than 3% growth, the bugle is sounding to pay the piper, and the ones who will lose are the ones who rely upon it the most.

Got gold?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Got gold? Today the new SEC rule goes into effect allowing the government to move your non-invested cash into Treasuries

Back in 2014 the SEC passed a rule that now goes into effect on Oct. 14 where investors and pension funds who do not have their money in a security can summarily have their cash reserves moved into U.S. Treasuries rather than money market funds.

While designating this mechanism to only be used during extreme 'adverse conditions', the fact that the global financial and banking systems are teetering on another 'Lehman Moment' means that the government could co-opt your money at any time, and is a backdoor way into moving your retirement and pension assets into Treasury debt instruments to help fund the government.

Image result for government wants your retirement and pensions
The big day has finally arrived: starting today, as previewed repeatedly over the summer, the SEC's 2a-7 money fund reform adopted in 2014 officially require many prime money market mutual funds (those that invest in non-government issued assets such as short-term corporate and municipal debt) to float their net asset value. More importantly, these prime MMFs are allowed to delay client withdrawals under adverse market conditions. 
The rule aim to prevent the sort of chaos that hit the money market after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s 2008 bankruptcy, which helped spark the financial crisis. The goal is to give investors a way to monitor a fund’s health by tracking its fluctuating net asset value, and to contain the fallout that could be caused by many investors cashing out at once, the SEC wrote in the final rules. 
As as result, many Prime MMFs are and have been converting their assets to government funds, not buying CDs anymore and moving into Treasurys and agencies. As the chart below shows, nearly $1 trillion in assets have rotated out of prime money markets into government funds, as a result sending Libor rates through the roof, to the highest level since the financial crisis, with consequences that have yet to be determined. - Zerohedge
But this scheme gets even more diabolical as the new SEC rules also allow for the government to DELAY in giving you or your broker the cash funds moved into Treasuries, thus making it so you no longer have control over your own money.
Take the case of Simon Gore, treasurer of budget carrier Spirit Airlines, who has had a relatively simple job over the past several years when he took tens of millions of dollars of company cash and parked it in money-market funds. Gore told the WSJ he has moved money out of some funds and is considering his options for depositing the more than $1 billion of cash and investments on Spirit’s balance sheet. 
Gore had previously put almost all of Spirit’s cash in prime money-market funds. Now, he has shifted most of it to money funds that invest in debt issued by the federal government or agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which aren’t affected by the new rules. He said the prospect of a floating net asset value - which also means client withdrawals can be delayed - caused him to think twice about prime funds. Besides facing the risk of losing money under the new rules, companies would have to record changes in the value of their cash, creating accounting headaches.
Ever since the 2008 financial crisis the government has been seeking ways to co-opt the nearly $17 trillion in individual retirement, pension, and mutual fund monies, and this, like Barack Obama's MyRA scheme, is just another backdoor way for them to do so.

How much longer can you trust your future to Wall Street or elected officials who have proven themselves to be some of the most fiscally irresponsible entities in history?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Retiring Baby Boomers could blow America's pension ponzi schemes wide open

There are a myriad of retirement vehicles out there, with some being run by the government and others being decided by the individuals themselves.  But as we enter into uncharted waters now that the Baby Boomer generation is moving into their retirement life phase, a boiling cauldron of doubt is coming onto the scene...

Could the fiscal insolvency of America's retirement system be completely shattered now that the nation's largest generation in history is about to siphon their money from these ponzi schemes?

Image result for retirements are ponzi schemes

The reason I refer to most retirement plans as ponzi schemes is that by their very nature, they require others to put in money so that those who paid in first can receive their benefits.  And of these, at least two are now virtually insolvent while the others rely upon markets to continue to grow from the input of new money into them as well.

1.  Social Security

Initially, social security was a program created to provide basic incomes to individuals who paid into the system during their working years, and would be compensated from a trust that originally was well funded, and was receiving new monies from those people still working.  But over time the government added new recipients beyond retirees to the program such as the disabled and those who lost family bread winners, and of course over time the nearly $3 trillion in surpluses was stolen by legislators and replaced with debt instruments that have to be paid back by an insolvent government.

And as we saw during the government battle to raise the debt ceiling back in 2013, the Treasury Secretary validated that Social Security was insolvent since it needed borrowed money to pay out beneficiaries.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned Thursday that timely payments to Social Security beneficiaries, veterans, active duty military personnel and Medicare providers would be at risk if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling. - CNN Money
2.  Pensions

Already in 2016 two of the nation's largest pension funds, both public and private, have reported that they are so underfunded that beneficiaries will need to take cuts, or in some cases, see their benefits ended altogether.  And this doesn't include most state pension funds that are now an estimated $2 trillion in the hole.
As the nation’s largest public employee pension plan, CalPERS stands out as the most irresponsible for having failed to prevent government pension spiking and for not forcing their government clients to pay for the spikes. But the pension fund’s $277.2 billion of investments leaves a $144.3 billion unfunded debt to cover 1.6 million state employees and retirees’ pensions, according to CalPERS’ October 31, 2013 report. 
California public employees now enjoy the highest benefits of any state in the nation. To pretend to fund this largess, CalPERS has become the worst “outlier” among public pension plans in using creative accounting to blur their grossly underfunded status. This has allowed its government clients to short-check their annual payment for the nation’s most lucrative pension benefits. - Breitbart
3.  Mutual funds, IRA's, and 401K's

As the Baby Boomers begin moving into their 70's over the next 11 years, the majority of them who hold a mutual funds, IRA, or 401K will soon be required to start selling their assets to pay Uncle Sam their tax obligations.  And this will mean a combination of less money being put into equity markets to prop up stocks, and a shift downward as sellers potentially could outnumber buyers... creating a disastrous scenario where the value of their retirements decline as the stocks they hold diminish in value.

4.  Bonds and Annuities

Ever since central banks embarked upon a policy of zero and now negative interest rates, the return on bonds has not even kept up with the rate of inflation.  Meaning that these former interest bearing yield instruments no longer hold a place in one's retirement portfolio.

Both government and private retirement managers have been able to keep their financial schemes going because there were enough workers that were inputting just enough to keep the system from collapsing completely into insolvency.  But now that the largest generation is ready to stop giving, and change course into taking what they rightfully invested during their working lives, the potential of nearly all retirement programs collapsing is each day becoming a very real probability.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Got gold? Social security now $32 trillion in the red, with a $6 trillion deficit

Here at the Daily Economist we have written numerous times on the pension shortfalls proliferating municipalities, unions, and state run systems.  But perhaps it is time we look at the most important retirement plan of all, which of course is that of social security.

In the newest 2016 report out by the Social Security Trustees, the fund that already services tens of millions of Americans with a monthly income, and is promised to do the same for hundreds of millions now working in the labor force, is $32 trillion in the red, and in the shorter term has a $6 trillion deficit.

It’s been several weeks since the Social Security Trustees released their 2016 Trustees Report. I’ve been waiting to see if either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton or anyone in the press core would say a peep about the astounding $6 trillion deficit implied by the Report’s table VI.F1. 
Not a peep. 
As you may know, I’m running for President as a write-in candidate along with my VP choice, UCLA economist, Edward Leamer. We’ll be on the ballot along with the two party candidates if voters simply write Laurence Kotlikoff for President and Edward Leamer for Vice President on the ballot in the space provided. It’s that simple. 
Ed and I are deeply concerned about our country’s fiscal condition, which is grave to say the least. If we don’t address it, we can kiss our children’s economic futures goodbye. 
I’ll get back to the overall picture, but let me tell the press what they will find if they care to do their job and look at Table VI.F1. They will learn that Social Security, according to the system’s own actuaries, is now $32 trillion in the red! The $32 trillion is the present value difference between all the system’s projected future benefit payments less the sum of a) all its projected future taxes and b) its current almost $3 trillion trust fund. 
We economists call this measure Social Security’s infinite horizon fiscal gap. Last year, the Trustees reported a fiscal gap of $26 trillion. So the system’s fiscal gap grew by $6 trillion over the past year, i.e., Social Security ran a $6 trillion deficit! - Forbes
And sadly, this trend of increasing deficits will only get worse as the Baby Boomers move completely into their receiving years for Social Security, and a large portion of Millennials who would normally be starting their careers are either out of work, or in jobs earning barely over minimum wage. And this dilemma of course is not even close enough to provide the revenues to pay for those who now collecting social security, much less sustain it for their own retirement years.

The 2008 financial crisis was a wake-up call, and had given Americans nearly a decade to find new alternative ways to save for their own retirements, and to not have to rely upon insolvent state and federal systems that are themselves bankrupt.  And one of the only ways that this can be achieved, especially if the government soon decides to massively increase taxes to cover the growing deficits, is to get some money into physical gold, which will both protect your wealth, and allow you little or no counter-party risk from insolvent Wall Street or government retirement schemes.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The window is closing for the chance to make your own decisions on your retirement accounts and to buy gold at affordable prices

Back during the 2008 Credit Crisis, one of the first things they did was to freeze money market accounts in the wake of bank failures and a liquidity collapse.  For most people, the money market arena is a playing field that only their brokers deal with, but it is important to retirees who have 401K's, IRA's, and mutual funds because this is where your money goes when you are temporarily out of stocks, bonds, or other paper assets.

Back on June 30, an interesting announcement was made to one sector of the retirement industry as Paychex, a third party company that provides HR, business, and financial services to thousands of companies, reported that they were no longer using money markets as a conduit for individuals and businesses to hold their cash in between payments made towards a worker's chosen retirement account, and similarly, when a worker/customer moves out of equities and into cash within their accounts.  And in this policy change, where is Paychex now going to move money to store on a temporary basis?

U.S. government bonds.
I received a document from Paychex today which is the administrator of one of my 401K accounts… and they informed me that they are going to move all cash in NON-government ‘Federated CASH Obligation’ money market accounts to ‘Federated Government Obligations‘… 
Since my 401K money is invested in three different precious metals funds this announcement does not affect me, however it will impact many other unsuspecting would-be retirees who falsely believe that their money is “safe” and “liquid” in a money market account. This is the slippery slope into government forcing account holders to invest in government debt (Treasuries), and it’s exactly what we’ve been warning about. As for me, I’m going to roll that particular account over and away from the control of Paychex. - Silver Doctors via SGT Report

The Federal government has been planning to try to confiscate Americans retirement accounts for some time now, and move them directly into U.S. Treasuries similar to what they did to the Social Security Trust Fund.  And this has already taken place in the pensions of Federal employees, which are secured by government debt (Treasuries), and in the Obama created program known as MyRA.

For over a decade, and in particular since the financial system nearly collapsed back in 2008, many in the alternative financial media have been trying to warn people of the coming death of their established retirement system, and the moves being made to cut promised benefits due to the insolvencies now being seen at the Federal and State levels.  And in 2016, where the U.S. Treasury is at its lowest yield in history, and much of the rest of the world languishes in negative interest rates, the window is closing for Americans to be able to make a choice... and that choice is whether to see your retirement accounts liquidated to fund U.S. government debt, or to take the proactive position and move into gold and silver before the price of each becomes unaffordable.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Japan’s 75 year old finance minister intimates that the elderly should die to aid economy

Perhaps it’s time we add euthanasia to the monetary polices of Keynesian ideologues after the 75 year old Finance Minister for the nation of Japan intimated that all the elderly should keel over and die to aid their insolvent economy.
In a speech given recently to prompt the wealthy in Japan to stop saving their money and instead spend it more, Taro Aso referenced watching a television show which featured a 90 year old woman being fearful of the future, and wondered to himself about ‘how long she intends to keep on living’.
Read more on this article here...

Thursday, June 9, 2016

As the world begins to realize that gold is money, Britain to allow individuals in their pension funds to own gold from Royal Mint

As public and private pensions and retirement funds around the world find themselves in massive shortfalls, with many now unable to keep their promises made to their workers, Britain is finally capitulating to the idea that gold is not only money, but a vital store of wealth in a world of zero interest rates and declining returns.  And on June 9, the Royal Mint announced they are allowing investors and individuals who own pensions and retirement funds to be able to buy physical gold rather than simply paper and equity assets.

This new programs is the result of a law passed in the UK back in 2014 that once again recognized gold as a standard of wealth (money), and it has taken two years and the advent of failed monetary policies by their government and central bank to finally implement the allowance of gold purchases to help shore up their insolvent pension programs.


Investors will be able to buy 100g or 1kg bars and hold them in the Royal Mint's bullion vault storage facility. The vault is located at Llantrisant in South Wales and is guarded by the Ministry of Defense. The most expensive single bar weighing one kilogram can be purchased for £28,286 ($41,131). 
Investors will be charged up to one percent a year (plus VAT) for the privilege of owning the bars, based on the daily market value. 
"The Royal Mint benefits from a centuries-old reputation as a trusted bullion provider and manufacturer of coins on a global scale. The move to make Royal Mint gold bullion available for holding within pension schemes opens us up to a whole new marketplace," said Chris Howard, director of bullion at the Royal Mint. 
While previously it was possible to buy gold bullion from the Royal Mint, customers couldn’t do that as part of their pension savings. 
The move to offer UK pension investors the option to buy gold bars follows the decision in 2014 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to make gold bullion a standard asset. The FCA’s decision then prohibited financial consultants from advising clients to invest in gold. - Russia Today

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Large insolvent pension fund threatens to cut benefits to zero

Before there was such financial vehicles as social security, pensions, 401K's, IRA's, and mutual funds, people were expected to be responsible for their own retirements and nest eggs.  But with Wall Street using many of these instruments as a way to deceive the public into handing over their money to bankers for upwards of 30-40 years of their working lives, individuals became lax in trusting that corrupt institutions would look out for them and follow through with the preparing for their golden years with security.

The fact of the matter is, the only legal ramification for a corporation, and that includes banks, is their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders.  Not to their customers, not to their clients, and not from any moral compass of doing the right thing versus massing as much wealth as possible for themselves.

And sadly, this is also the scenario that has emerged for state, municipal, union, and private pension funds, who for the most part have relieved themselves of their fiduciary responsibilities and given over monies promised to workers to Wall Street fund managers, and even to unscrupulous Hedge Funds in the hopes of expanding pension pools to make up for worker promises they couldn't keep.

And now eight years after zero interest rates destroyed the fixed income markets, not only are states such as Illinois underfunded and virtually insolvent because they put their retirees money in stocks and toxic assets like Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), now one of the largest private union pension funds is leaving their retired workers with an Ogre's choice (die slowly or die quickly)...

Either have your benefits cuts to virtually nothing, or have the fund go bankrupt within the next 10 years.

The Central States Pension Fund has no new plan to avoid insolvency, fund director Thomas Nyhan said this week. Without government funding, the fund will run out of money in 10 years, he said. At that time, pension benefits for about 407,000 people could be reduced to "virtually nothing," he told workers and retirees in a letter sent Friday. 
In a last-ditch effort, the Central States Pension Plan sought government approval to partially reduce the pensions of 115,000 retirees and the future benefits for 155,000 current workers. 
The proposed cuts were steep, as much as 60% for some, but it wasn't enough. Earlier this month, the Treasury Department rejected the plan because it found that it would not actually head off insolvency. 
The fund could submit a new plan, but decided this week that there's no other way to successfully save the fund and comply with the law. The cuts needed would be too severe. - CNN Money
The bottom line is that 2008 was a warning shot to Americans relying upon pensions and other savings instruments to fund their retirements.  And for those who willingly cashed out when they could despite the penalties, many were able to move that money into tangible wealth protection such as gold, silver, and precious metal based IRA's.  But sadly, the majority of people continue to trust Wall Street, and this week's insolvency for the Central States Pension Fund will only be the beginning of many more collapses to come.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

As Arizona seeks to cut pension benefits, state Governor vetoes bill to recognize gold as money

There are many states in the U.S. who have discovered that a return to a sound money backed by gold may be the only relief for their debt problems that not only threaten local governments, but state-wide pensioners.  And while places like Utah, Texas, and Oklahoma have all passed legislation recognizing gold as legal tender, one Southwestern state is rejecting this premise at a time when pensioners are being asked to accept less retirement proceeds due to massive deficits.

Arizona's Republican establishment Governor Doug Ducey just vetoed the second bill to come across his desk, which was seeking to label gold as both money, and recognized legal tender within the state earlier this week.  And instead Ducey is focusing on a new measure which would cut the rate of payments to retirees under the state's pension facility since normal investments for the program have been unable to keep up with the amount due individuals paid into the scheme.


There is no cure for zero interest rates (and negative in Europe and Japan). The central banks have created a monster, a Frankenstein that is now ravaging the economy and especially those who depend on fixed income. 
It is no longer possible to earn a yield on paper money, without taking undue risk of precisely the sort that retirement funds should not take. 
The only antidote to zero yield on paper is a positive yield on gold. 
I explained to the legislators that this bill would not fix the problem in itself. It is a necessary but not sufficient step. 
I made a different argument to Governor Ducey. Most legislation creates winners and losers. Those who will be hurt by a new law of course lobby against it, and may become enemies of the governor for signing it. This bill created no losers. No one would be hurt by recognizing gold as money. It would have been good for the state, adding jobs, and even tax revenue. 
Unpersuaded by either the plight of the pensioners or the prospect of business growth in Arizona, Ducey vetoed gold.  
This is his second time to shoot down gold. 
I have just two points to make about this. One, let’s stop perpetuating the myth that Republicans—or even pro-business Republicans as Ducey brands himself—are for gold. This is a big reason cited by Democrats for why they are against gold. 
Two, Governor Ducey knew he could get away with this veto because few people care. While our monetary system drowns under zero interest and runaway debt, people are worried about the Kardashians and the gender of Bruce-now-Caitlyn Jenner. - Monetary Metals

Monday, April 4, 2016

There is no longer a path to retirement unless you make it happen

Before the U.S. chose to engage in a path of monetary inflation starting in the 1960's, retirement was not a difficult endeavor for most Americans since the cost of goods and services were comparable to the monthly allocation of pension benefits and social security.  However, when these two things began to disconnect a decade later, it became almost a necessity for an individual to start investing early in the markets or in assets that could provide a return feasible to counter price inflation that has been almost non-stop for 50 years.

But with the central bank embarking on a more aggressive policy of monetary expansion to purposely increase the amount of inflation in the economy, it appears that for the American people we have reached a point of no return, and the dream of a comfortable retirement without incredible intervention by the individual themselves is pretty much done.



Graphic courtesy of Jim Quinn, Burning Platform
In fact, the number of full-time workers over the age of 55 numbered only 11 million in 2000, representing 18.6% of the over 55 population. Today, over 21 million full-time employed over 55 year olds, represent close to 25% of the rapidly growing over 55 year old category. 
Boomers aren’t retiring en mass because they can’t afford to retire. The labor participation rate of the younger generations is being negatively impacted by the non-retirement of Boomers. This is called the trickle down effect from unintended consequences. The establishment has strip mined the wealth of the country, leaving a barren wasteland in its wake, creating a seething populace, seeking perpetrators to blame. The populist uprising which propels Trump and Sanders has been spurred by the destruction of the working middle class as the corporate fascists, global elite, and banking cabal have pushed their game of financialization roulette to its limit. - Burning Platform

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ratings agency downgrades Chicago as years of bad fiscal policies with pensions comes home to roost

One of the biggest problems with the majority of politicians coming from the lawyer class is that they have little idea about fiscal responsibility and economics, or any understanding of the consequences that come from promising the world to voters in order to get re-elected.  In fact, Washington is not only known for trying to buy votes from constituents with ever increasing benefit programs, but they are the also the poster child of robbing Peter to pay Paul when it comes to things like stealing from the Social Security Trust to pay for new programs.
Municipalities are not immune to this paradigm as well, with many liberalized cities having chosen the path of egregious fiscal policies which are now coming home to roost as their budgets run deficits that place them on the cusp of insolvency.  And perhaps the biggest culprit in this is the City of Chicago, who after years of making pension promises they couldn’t hope to keep are on the verge of being downgraded to junk status and out of options when it comes to paying out benefits to retirees.
state pensions
Read more on this article here...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Illinois can’t pay on pensions but they found money to do gun buybacks

Yesterday, the Fitch rating agency downgraded Illinois credit to just above junk status by lowering their rating to BBB+ in light of their budget issues which are making the Mid-Western state unable to pay on pension and lottery obligations.  But despite the legislatures inability to pass an appropriations bill leading into 2016, on Oct. 19 Mayor Rahm Emmanuel was somehow able to find $250,000 for a new gun buyback programs to appease Obama’s call for new gun control mechanisms.
The city of Chicago, along with much of the state of Illinois, is one of the worst places for gun violence despite some of the toughest gun control laws in the country.  But like most liberal policies, results and data are meaningless as long as the ideologies of demagogues are able to be imposed on the people.

Read more on this article here...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Chicago heading down the path of Detroit as budget shortfall may now close schools

Since the city of Detroit became the poster child for failed industrial cities in the U.S., several other major municipalities have also succumbed to degradation and mismanagement.  One in particular, the city of Chicago, has not only been dropped to junk bond status by Moody’s for their corporate bonds, but now they are in trouble of having to suspend or close down schools because of major budget shortfalls that have already hit their pension systems.
Chicago Public Schools—with 394,000 students and nearly 21,000 teachers—has closed more than half of a projected $1.1 billion shortfall through cuts, borrowing and other means, but is looking to the state to come up with the rest. The school board warns of deep cuts later this year if Illinois, which faces its own fiscal crisis, doesn’t deliver an additional $480 million in the coming months, representing roughly 8% of annual district spending.



Read more on this article here...

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Got Karatbars? The next move by the Fed could alter your retirement savings forever

Ever since the Federal Reserve ended Quantitative Easing in 2014, the central bank has made promise after promise of finally raising interest rates from their historic near zero lows.  However, we are quickly coming up on the one year anniversary of the Fed proclaiming they were ready to raise rates, and the fact of the matter is, should the central bank actually follow through with their promises then the fate of America's current retirement system will be altered forever.

I know the first question that one would ask here is just how would raising rates effect retirement accounts like pension funds, 401K's, IRA's, and the like?  The answer lies in two fundamental truths about the financial system today, and what has transpired to bring us to this precipice seven years after the 2008 credit crisis.

Many retirees remember what happened within a year of the initial stock market crash on that fateful day in October of 2008.  The markets, which had reached an all-time high on the DOW less than a year before, would over the next 14 months drop by more than 50% and rest in the 6800's before the central bank intervened and began a new policy of zero interest rates, and massive money printing to fuel what would be known as the 'recovery'.

Since that time, and especially since 2012, the stock markets have not only shot through the old 2007 high of 14,600, but are now well above 18,000, with many individual stocks at their own all-time highs.  But the sad truth is, more than half of the entire stock market is owned not by mutual funds or retail investors, but by these same central banks who use the positive market to mask how bad the rest of the economy is, and prop up equities despite the fact that these companies are earning much less than they did before 2007.

So just how exactly would raising interest rates affect retirement and pension accounts?  First off, since the Fed has been the primary engine that has helped raise stock prices to begin with, the cost of money would increase to unsustainable levels for banks and investment brokers to borrow it.  Secondly, it is a given fact that if rates were raised, the markets would decline and even drop well into bear market levels, thus causing the returns and balances of pension funds in the market to drop dangerously.

At the local level, raising interest rates would cause municipal bonds, which are another key asset for state and local pension fund growth, to cost cities and states much more money than they can afford to service them, and at a time when not only are pension accounts way underfunded ($3 trillion combined for all 50 states), but since the general economy is bringing in less revenue, state and local budgets couldn't pay for the increased cost of new bonds at higher interest levels.

Stock market turmoil has wiped out roughly $2 trillion of Americans' retirement savings over the past 15 months, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The value of pension funds and retirement accounts dropped by roughly $1 trillion, or almost 10 percent, in the year ending June 30, the CBO told the House Education and Labor Committee Tuesday, citing Federal Reserve data. Since then, asset prices have dropped even further. The CBO says that retirement assets may have declined by as much as $2 trillion over the past 15 months.

Individual 401(k) participants' average losses ranged from 7.2 percent to 11.2 percent in the first nine months of 2008, according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute analysis of 2.2 million participants. Over two thirds of the assets in 401(k)-style defined-contribution plans are invested in equities, either directly or through mutual funds. During the first nine months of 2008, stocks were down, with the S&P 500 index losing more than 19 percent. Fixed-income investments fared better, with the Lehman Aggregate index gaining 0.63 percent and three-month treasury bills gaining 1.54 percent. - Money.US News

With so many baby boomers retiring each year now, and so many millennials coming out of college who can't find jobs and contribute to the system, does anyone really think that the government, the Fed, or the economy itself would be able to handle the next financial crisis, which many analysts say will begin or occur in September/October of this year?

And with 2008 less than a decade ago, can we really think it will not happen again... especially with what is going on right now in Greece, China, and around the world?

So what is a viable solution to compliment your retirement savings that is dependent upon a system you cannot control, and is insolvent at so many levels?

The answer lies in Karatbars.






Buying gold through Karatbars is one of the easiest things on the net.  In fact, the business model of Karatbars is to sell gold in affordable quantities, such as 1, 2.5, and 5 gram increments, and allow customers to get into the metal without having to shell out $1200+ for a single ounce coin.

And as added perks to signing up with Karatbars, as a customer or affiliate, you can have the power to move your money into a free e-wallet that functions just like an offshore bank account, and is outside the authority of the banking system.  From there, you can take your fiat currency in any denomination... dollars, euros, yen, etc... and purchase physical gold which can either be delivered directly to you, or stored for free at one of Karatbar's vaults.

Additionally, any gold that you buy can easily be sold back to Karatbars, or any metals dealer, and if with Karatbars it is then exchanged for currency that is uploaded to you through a pre-loaded debit Mastercard which is connected directly to your e-wallet.  And as we know, MasterCard is recognized in nearly every country around the world, and usable in any currency that accepts it.

But perhaps the best feature with Karatbars is their affiliate program, where you can earn money off commissions from getting others to sign up and become a customer or affiliate.  Not only do you receive commissions from their purchasing of physical gold, but you also earn commissions from anyone who buys a commission package, with that money going directly into your debit MasterCard when you have enough units to cycle.

Imagine the ability to earn the money in which to buy your gold savings simply by purchasing a commission affiliate package one time, and then getting others to sign up and do the same thing.

How many businesses or entrepreneurs can build an infinite business with spending less than $400 of their own money?  And there is never a mandatory requirement to buy beyond what you desire, on your own schedule.  And there is nothing to lose, because you're using money (paper dollars) to buy gold (physical money) and in the end you don't lose a thing.

How to make money in both the Dual and Uni-level systems of Karatbars



How to make a six figure income using Karatbars in just 7 weeks.



The global financial system, along with dozens of respected economists, are telling us that now is the time for the end of our current form of money, and the beginning of the transition into a new monetary system that is expected to be backed by gold.  And with banks, governments, and even Harvard professors mandating that central banks have no choice but to eliminate cash from usage by the people to stave off collapse, will you wait until it is too late to make a decision on how you will protect your wealth, and be able to function within the coming new monetary system?

To learn more about Karatbars, you can contact the individual who sent you this article, and click on their referral link to open a free account and begin buying, or building your own gold savings or business with the company of the future.

Greece is not the only country where pensions are at the root of an economic disaster

In the ongoing debt crisis taking place between Greece, Germany, and the EU’s financial Troika, Greek pensions remain squarely in the crosshairs for austerity cuts to allow acceptance of a new round of bailouts, and a saving of Greece’s insolvent financial system.  But with the global economy in decline and even recession despite manipulated equity market highs, the Damocles Sword of underfunded pensions elsewhere threaten to keep central banks and central planners from doing what is necessary to rebuild sectors within the economy that have been stagnant since the 2008 credit crisis.
One country in particular, that of the United States, is a poster child for underfunded pensions that could matriculate a domino effect on the nation’s entire financial system should the Fed even attempt to stimulate growth through the raising of interest rates.
 
Read more on this article here...

Friday, May 29, 2015

New Supreme Court ruling on pensions could pave way for government to take them over

In a new and what appeared on the surface to be a fairly innocuous Supreme Court ruling last week, the high court determined that employers do have the right and responsibility for ensuring company based 401K plans are managed well, do not have inordinate fees, and perform profitably.  However, within this decision regarding Tibble v. Edison International, the Court also added a bombshell that could lead to the eventual ending of state sponsored retirement benefits, or even the confiscation of your funds at the national level.
 

 
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Monday, April 27, 2015

Greece upgrades capital controls to now confiscating bank deposits... got Karatbars?

After laying down a series of capital controls in Greece, primarily that of the Greek legislature decreeing that all excess cash in banks be transferred directly to the central bank, the next phase of Syriza's domestic war on money was enacted on April 25 as authorities are now confiscating deposits of anyone deemed to be in shortfall of their tax obligations.

No hearing, no trial... just a freezing and taking of assets if their money is stored in a bank and they are determined to owe the state an obligation.



As the country’s finances reach a critical point, tax authorities have started seizing the deposits of small debtors, Kathimerini understands.

No figures were available regarding the new crackdown but cases of debtors targeted included a citizen with a debt of just 200 euros, Kathimerini understands.

The bank account of the man in question was frozen and then reopened once it was established that he had paid his dues. In several cases, including that of a citizen with a debt of 24,000 euros, bailiffs are said to have used threats to secure the cash. The initiative comes as efforts to crack down on rich Greeks with tax debts make slow progress. - Ekathimenrini

Reliance on governments, banks, and currencies has become a fool's errand, and anyone who by now is entrusting their wealth to paper assets in a proxy controlled institution will lose it all, or soon have it devalued to pennies on the dollar.

We do not necessarily have to cite the multiple instances of government wealth destruction that has taken place in Cyprus through bail-ins, Switzerland through capital controls on withdrawing your money, Japan in transferring their pensions to buy U.S. debt, and now Greece in summarily confiscating funds and accounts, but if anyone had a doubt that it is coming to America and the rest of Europe, the facts are without dispute.

U.S. Cops Use Traffic Stops To Seize Millions From Drivers Never Charged With A Crime

There are a few ways for you to protect your assets and your wealth, and at the top of the list is Karatbars.  Not only can you have physical gold delivered to your home, but you can also choose to store it offshore for free in one of Karatbar's three vaults worldwide.  Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, Karatbars offers affiliates and customers a virtual offshore bank account through a back office e-wallet, that can be accessed and uploaded to a pre-loaded MasterCard for use in any currency, and anywhere around the world.

And since Karatbars is not registered as a bank, the are not subject to U.S. FACTA laws which force countries to provide the names and amount of money they have offshore to the I.R.S..



Our grandparents during the 1930's found out how detrimental it is to trust in banks and safety deposit boxes when the government issued a two week holiday, and confiscated their gold stored in these institutions.  And with the passage of Dodd-Frank in 2010, the means and the laws are on the side of government to do this once again.

To sign up for a Karatbars account, either as a customer or as an affiliate where you can earn commissions on any package and gold sold to people you personally sign up with the company, click on this link to begin your trek to a new future of wealth protection outside the system, and the one sure way to protect your assets, as well as gain new assets, before the coming collapse and the evolution of the new non-dollar financial system.

Monday, April 20, 2015

New Greek capital controls shows why Karatbars is the solution to banks

As the Greek financial situation continues to deteriorate, their legislature on April 20 issued a new decree that forces all banks in the EU country to deposit all non-used cash into the central bank to both strengthen the primary lender of last resort, and to provide a means for Greece to leverage additional capital to issue more debt.
Greece issued a legislative act on Monday requiring public sector entities to transfer idle cash reserves to the country’s central bank, as part of efforts to deal with a cash squeeze. Greece has been tapping into the cash reserves of pension funds and public sector entities through repo transactions as it scrambles to cover its funding needs.
Monday’s act excludes pension funds and some state-owned firms. Cash reserves that are needed by these bodies for their immediate payment needs are also excluded from the regulation. - Reuters via Zerohedge


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Japanese vassal state to the U.S. part two: Operation Tokyo Twist

In a previous article we showed how the U.S. is using the declining Yen currency to prop up and protect both the dollar and the stock markets, and in this essay we will see another aspect of how America and Wall Street is siphoning the last remaining assets from the Japanese people to supplement the lost liquidity that occurred after the Federal Reserve ended QE3.

In a term coined by statistician and well known analyst Dr. Jim Willie, the U.S. is raiding Japanese pension funds through a joint mechanism he calls, Operation Tokyo Twist.  The crux of this scheme is for Prime Minister Abe to take the last remaining solid reserve in the Japanese financial system… which is their pension fund, and use the money to purchase U.S. Treasuries and replace the pensions with newly printed Yen from their central bank.

In essence, Japan will take over buying U.S. bonds for the Fed by liquidating the government account holding Japanese pensions and replacing them with devalued fiat currency printed out of thin air.


Read more on this article here...